Castiel is my favorite character, and I ship Destiel. There are many reasons I do this. I ship them because it adds to my enjoyment of the show. I ship them because it increases my desire to engage in fandom. I ship them because I like the idea of two badass male characters having a relationship without it changing their badassery one bit. I ship them because they are both really, really good-looking and it’s hot. I ship them because I can. I ship them because a lot of very talented fanfic writers have created stories that I love reading. I ship them because there are other people out there who ship them, too, and it’s fun discussing our ship together. I ship them because I adore reading between the lines for any snippet of possible romance the show gives me. I ship them because it keeps me engaged and invested in the show. I ship them because it makes me happy. But mostly I ship them because I want these two wonderful, flawed characters to find something beautiful together amidst the broken wreckage of their lives.
In the nearly four years that I have written for this website, I have never once talked about the fact that I ship Destiel. Hell, usually I try to remain as neutral as I can when discussing the show so that it doesn’t seem like I am playing favorites, though I don’t think I’ve always done a good job of that. This isn’t because I am ashamed of my Destiel shipping or that I am scared of being attacked for liking a certain character over another. No, the reason I don’t usually talk about this sort of thing is because it shouldn’t matter to anyone but me.
It shouldn’t matter to anyone but me.
I don’t care if you, reader, ship Wincest or Sassy or no one or Megstiel or Dean/Pie. I don’t care if you hate Castiel or you hate Sam or you hate Dean or you hate any character who isn’t named Winchester. I don’t care if you hate me for loving my ship. Because to be perfectly frank, what you love or hate or desire or want plays absolutely no part in my enjoyment of the show. None. I may not agree with your opinions, and I may not share your ship or your non-shipping, but I respect your right to your own opinion. I respect your right to enjoy the show how you want to enjoy it. Being angry at you for liking something I don’t is like being angry at you for eating a doughnut when I am on a diet.
I even respect your right to voice your opinions when you disagree. To a point, of course. Don’t like an episode or a character or a plot? Fine. Write a blog post or a comment on a forum or Tweet about it. Rant on Tumblr or on Facebook or on LiveJournal. Write a fanfic where you have control over every aspect of the story. Have a civil conversation with people who don’t share your opinions.
But don’t tell someone else they are wrong for disagreeing with you. Don’t tell someone else their ship is wrong. Don’t make fun of someone for liking a character you don’t like. Don’t tell someone their personal reading of the show is invalid because you don’t see what they see. Don’t Tweet the writers or producers of the show and tell them how they should be doing their jobs. Don’t leave a nasty comment on a blog post. Don’t say rude things about an actor or to an actor because you don’t like the character they portray. Don’t go into a Twitter or Tumblr tag, especially during cons, and make disrespectful comments. Don’t repeat the same argument over and over and over for months. Because that? That does impact how I enjoy the show. That does impact how others enjoy the show. That can be bullying. That can be hurtful. And that is unacceptable.
We call ourselves the SPNFamily, but we don’t treat each other like family. We don’t respect each other even when we disagree. We don’t have each other’s backs. Our mouths say we’re a family while our hands push each other to the ground. It’s petty. It’s ridiculous. It’s beneath us.
I’m not saying you have to agree with everyone in fandom or like everyone in fandom. I’m not saying to keep quiet when you don’t like something that happens on the show or in fandom. I’m suggesting that maybe it’s time to stop caring so much about what other people think, what other people like, and just let them be. Let them find enjoyment as they see fit as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. It’s time to stop being so angry all the time.